Jane Kahler

As long as I can remember, I have desired to be an artist. My father was an artist and a great aunt was an art teacher. When I was very young, my father took me to see her work, which made my desire to be an artist even deeper. Since art classes were not available in my high school, I took mechanical drawing and even thought about being an architect. After graduation, I attended the American School of Commercial Art, thinking I might like to be a fashion illustrator, but that didn’t happen. I did remain in the commercial art business though. The first art job was in the art department for food wrapping design work. After that I landed in the embroidery and emblem design work, which I remained until retirement.

Raising a family curtailed my desire to start painting for a while, but I did get started when they all were in school. I started taking classes and workshops. Working full time in my commercial art field left only evenings and weekends to paint. Occasionally my vacations were filled with a painting workshop.

 Landscapes have always fascinated me. I like to feel the emotion of being where the area that the painting portrays.  Plein air painting is really good when the weather permits. Being in the midst of the scene gives a truer sense of the colors in nature. Even though a painting has to be done in a much shorter time because of the sun and shadows, it is much more exciting than painting from a photograph. Sometimes it has to be cut short because of a rainstorm coming in or the wind is so much that your easel blows over.  

Painting portraits of people and also pets and wildlife animals has also been interesting. I like painting people from life because you don’t lose all the nuances of color and form, but the children and animal paintings are all from my photographs. Obviously, sitting still is the problem.

Still life paintings can be boring, but I really love to see one that is very striking. Setting up a still life is an art in itself.  Once you have mastered a good setup, half the hard work is done. I like one that is not too busy. Too many items can also ruin a composition. I have started doing more still life paintings and working on preparing an exciting setup with a good composition.

As for as learning about art, it doesn’t matter what medium is being used for a painting. Much can be learned from a good painting instructor. It could be composition, color theory, values, perspective or technique.

The media I have painted in are oil, acrylics, watercolor, Prisma pencil, pastel and pen & ink. All of these are fun and challenging, but I really like the movement of oil and the fact that it stays wet longer than watercolor or acrylic. I like Prisma pencil, but only for small paintings, especially furry animals. It takes Prisma Pencil much longer to cover an area than a brush, but you have the opportunity to make fur look so lifelike with the fine detail. I have taken classes from many very talented artists. Among them are John Potoschnik, Bruce Peil, Perry Sparks, Darnell Jones, Betty Sampson, James Spurlock and Ann Templeton.

Being in several of the local art organizations is a great help. Each of them has a well known demonstrator at the monthly meetings. There are several workshops each year also. I have been a member and served on the board as President and other offices in Associated Creative Artists, Irving Art Association, DeSoto Art League, Association of Creative Artists, Texas Area Artists.

Painting seems to be an addiction when you love to do it. I can get totally lost in my daily thoughts and problems when I am painting.Having my paintings exhibited in the Artists’ Showplace gallery has given me the opportunity to sell more of my work. ait is wonderful group of artists that are in the gallery.